Far Out! NASA's International Space Station Turns 10

When we were 10, we weren't solving scientific algorithms like these guys and gals. They've done some other pretty cool stuff, too.

International Space Station (ISS) will mark its 10th anniversary of continuous human occupation today (Nov. 2). To commemorate this special occasion, scientists, politicians, researchers and key leaders gathered in Washington D.C. for a series of roundtable discussions on Oct. 21. At Tonic, we're honoring the ISS's 10th anniversary with a list of 10 things NASA has done right in its 10 years at the ISS — the November version of 10.10.10!

1. Hey Earthlings, you there? For earth science researchers, the ISS is a perfect viewing stage to see Earth. It travels across the same area of the planet every three days covering more than 90 percent of the populated portion of our planet.

2. We come together, right now ... The ISS has been and continues to be an excellent exercise in teamwork. More than 100,000 people, hundreds of companies and 16 nations spread over four continents, among them the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have collaborated to make the ISS possible.

3. Taking care of business. One-third of the resources on ISS will be used for commercial projects, stimulating business and economic growth back on Earth.

4. Let's get physical. One of the toughest things astronauts face is deterioration of their muscles and bones while they are in space. To ensure they stay fit and as muscular as they were upon their departure, the ISS is equipped with a full-fledged gym that includes treadmills, weights and exercise bikes. Astronauts are encouraged to exercise at least two hours everyday.

5. No more counting sheep. Astronauts don't need as much sleep when they are in orbit because the human body does very little work in a microgravity environment. It's effortless to hold up your head, touch your toes, raise your arm, or move something heavy.

6. Greetings from outer space. In 2001, Dennis Tito paid $20 million to became the first private citizen to fly aboard the space station.

7. Concord, Shmoncord. The ISS has revolutionized the ability to travel at incredibly high speeds. In a single 24-hour period, the ISS travels from the Earth to the moon and back again.

8. What an architectural feat! The ISS is larger than a five-bedroom home. It weighs nearly 1 million pounds, and it's the length of a football field (including end zones).

9. Pass the electricity, honey. The surfaces of the solar array, which capture sunlight to produce electricity, are three times larger US Senate chambers.

10. Education for the nation. Part of the ISS crew's mission is education. They're working with students on Earth to create demonstrations and experiments.

Photo courtesy of NASA by Wikimedia Commons.

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